Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

I received a review copy of this novel from Sourcebooks. This in no way affected my opinions.

I LOVED this book. It has been on my wish list for ages. I would read the synopsis, stare at the cover and read reviews over and over. Needless to say, I was pining for this book. You can imagine how giddy I was when I had the opportunity to read and review the reissue for Sourcebooks. It's been a while since I've been this excited to get my hands on a book.

This book has everything: historical romance, contemporary romance, rebellion, tragedy. All the good stuff.

Author Carrie McClelland set out to do research for her latest novel, only to find herself in a completely different place than she originated – in more ways then one. As Carrie sits down in a cottage in Scotland, with a view of the very inspiring Slains Castle, to write her novel, she is surprised how fast the words are coming to her, until she starts realizing that what she's writing is hitting a little too close to historical fact. At first, Carrie convinces herself that she has come across certain names and dates without realizing it, but soon she can no longer deny that something odd is happening. Has she inherited a memory? And is it of her ancestor, Sophia Patterson, who lived in Slains Castles during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1708? 

The ruins of Slains Castle

Carrie's heroine, Sophia, has traveled to Slains Castle to live in the company of the Countess of Erroll, the sister of her late uncle. Sophia finds herself thrust into a different world. She finds Slains to be a busy place, full of people full of secrets. And with the fact that anyone could be a spy of the queen, Sophia is wary, but finds herself drawn to a certain Mr. Moray. Here the historical romance ensues.

As Carrie works her way through her novel, she discovers things about herself right along with her heroine. She finds her own romance, which is fortunately a little less complicated than Sophia's.

One of the running themes I loved in this book was genealogy. Genealogy is a huge hobby of mine. In the past year my family tree has grown drastically. I could understand why Carrie's father was so into researching his family. Genealogy is fascinating because not only is it history, but it is the history of you. The fact that Carrie was uncovering long lost family secrets and names had me geeking out a bit.

I recommend this to any historical fiction lover. I found myself zipping through, but at the same time I never wanted it to end. Don't you hate that? A+ storytelling!


Joanne said...

I am so happy that you enjoyed The Winter Sea! I loved it and it will definitely go in my top picks for this year! I've read everything I can get my hands on by Susanna Kearsley because I admire her ability to craft such seamless, compelling stories.

Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

So glad you enjoyed The Winter Sea. I love Susanna Kearsley, and don't understand why her books aren't better known. I recommend her to everyone I know. If you've not read them yet, I highly recommend her books Mariana and The Shadowy Horses.

Marg said...

I love it when I find someone else who loved this book! I read this a couple of years ago and have been recommending to anyone and everyone ever since! And her other books books are great too!